To write in English as a non-native speaker might seem scary at first. Many blog posts I read are written by non-native English speakers. Sometimes I can easily tell and sometimes it's harder. It's fine though because writing content for a blog is not about perfect grammar or fancy sentences, it's about your audience understanding what you mean.
As a non-native English speaker, I'll be the first to admit it, my English is far from perfect. I speak with an accent and my grammar could use some work. But it doesn't matter, because the people I communicate with understand me.
Advantages of Being a Non-native English Speaker
Because it's not our native language we have to spend more time analyzing the language, grammar, and spelling than a native speaker. This is natural and not specific to English. That type of attention to detail will make you appreciate the different ways that language can be used even more.
Why You Should Write in English (As a Non-native Speaker)
Quite obvious, eh? Honestly, it doesn't matter what type of content you write as long as you keep doing it. You could maintain an English diary or write your grocery shopping list in English. Practice makes perfect and that applies to this too.
At work, 100% of my communication is in English, both verbal and written, and mostly it's about technical topics. I've noticed I have a harder time talking about non-technical matters in English, so it's good to practice different subjects. Small talk for example, like how can I make small talk about programming? Yeah, I've tried and it was not pretty 😂
In my opinion, people striving for perfect grammar are wasting their time. And more, people who are correcting other people's incorrect grammar are even worser (ha!). Don't let these people discourage you. It all boils down to understanding. If I comprehend you, then you have succeeded, and we can move on.
Improving your language skills can lead to many new opportunities in life, such as a career abroad, or new relationships. If you don't want to move you can do remote work. Here you can read about my experience with remote work: 4 Lessons Learned Working Remotely for +2 Years
You Encourage Others
Impostor Syndrome, did you hear about it? It's when you feel like a fraud (imposter) and you're afraid to be exposed as such. This psychological condition is not unique to writing and happens to people in all industries. I've felt it and I think a lot of you have experienced it too.
By creating content with imperfect grammar you're reducing this stigma of "I need to have perfect English to produce content", which in turn will help others see that it's ok to do so.
Just do it! Write in English (or any other language) as a non-native speaker! Write what's on your mind. It might suck, or it might be the best you've ever written. Anyway, you will learn and the next thing you write will be better. You have nothing to lose!
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Originally published at prplcode.dev
Top comments (6)
As someone being not a native in English also I support everything you wrote in this blog! English is the language of the internet. As such a "standard" it enables us all to communicate and connect with different peoples and cultures, and allows us to get inspired by a broad range of opinions.
Yes, agree! Standards are wonderful. When you think about it, it's quite amazing we can communicate with a large part of the western world even though most countries have their own language.
Both reasons you listed are pertinent. The section about career growth especially speaks to me.
For improvement, I recommend using Grammarly (free version) and the Hemingway app for fixing common grammar mistakes.
I would add more practical reasons to write in English:
But they are caveats:
Thank you for sharing, you make some great points I did not consider. +1 to using Grammarly and Hemmingway, I find them helpful as well.
I come from a country where everyone understands English well, even the older generations, so I did not take into consideration your point about that there's an audience for non-English content.
It's more competative yes, but writing doesn't have to be a competition -- it can be for fun. Some of my posts I write just for fun.
Those are all valid points. I imagine that non native speakers must work pretty hard just to get to a similar level as a native.
Honestly, I think we'll never reach the same level. At least I know I won't. But I don't mind, as long as people can understand me 🙂